Fans of the That ’70s Show were left with broken hearts in 2013 when news emerged that Lisa Robin Kelly, the actress who played the role of Laurie Forman had passed at the age of 43. It was crushing news not only to the fans of what was her biggest gig but to the entertainment world as a whole. An incredible talent with a very promising future had been lost. In retrospect, we take a look at her short-lived career as well as the actual cause of her death.
Life of Lisa Robin Kelly – Biography
Lisa Robin Kelly came into the world on the 5th of March 1970. She was born to Thomas Carl Kelly and Linda Diane (née Grimm) Kelly who lived in Southington, Connecticut.
Acting was something that Kelly was very passionate about. As her cousin John Kelly would come to reveal after her death to the Record-Journal, Lisa would often return home during the Christmas holidays to update the family on the progress of her journey to Hollywood stardom.
Kelly began her acting career when she had already become an adult, aged 21 years old in 1992. Her first role was in an episode of the TV show, Married… with Children. Lisa was then seen in small parts in TV shows like Silk Stalkings and Renegade as well as the TV film, Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story, all in 1994. That same year, she made her film debut in the crime thriller film, Relentless IV: Ashes to Ashes.
In the mid-90s, Lisa Robin Kelly went on to appear in films like Amityville Dollhouse and the lesser-known Performance Anxiety (1997). Kelly was, however, more active on the small screen. During the same period, she acted in a number of TV shows including Platypus Man, Sisters, The X-Files, and Days of Our Lives. She returned to Married… with Children in 1997 playing a different role from the initial one.
Following a very busy 90s, Lisa Robin Kelly finally got what would become her big break in 1998. She earned the recurring role of Laurie Forman in the FOX period sitcom, That ’70s Show which quickly garnered a lot of traction. No already-established star was featured in the series, thus after its success, all its major casts gained wider recognition.
While on the show, she appeared in a 1999 episode of Charmed, as well as the TV film, Late Last Night released in the same year. Lisa Robin Kelly left That ’70s Show in 2003 due to unending personal troubles. Unfortunately, death truncated her career and Lisa was unable to book another major gig after That ’70s Show.
Death – How Did She Die?
Lisa Robin Kelly died on the 13th of August 2013 as a result of multiple drug intoxication. A few days leading to her passing, Kelly had checked herself into the Pax Rehab House in Altadena, California. Unfortunately, the actress died in her sleep as a result of what has been described as an accidental unspecified oral multiple drug intoxication.
Kelly’s problems with alcohol had been going on for at least a decade before her death. It was her abuse of alcohol that cost her the role of Laurie Forman in That ’70s Show. As a result, her character was written off by the third season. Kelly returned for the fifth season but it turned out that she was yet to get her acts together as she was quickly replaced by Christina Moore in Season Six.
Things only got worse for Lisa Robin Kelly. In mid-2010, she was booked for DUI. In 2012, Kelly would come to reveal to ABC News that she had lost her That ’70s role to alcoholism which she plunged into after losing a baby.
She had a couple more run-ins with the law in 2012 including one where she and her husband Robert Joseph Gilliam whom she married in November 2012 were arrested for misdemeanor assault at each other. Before the arrest, Kelly had taken to social media to speak of how she was sober and preparing to return to acting. It was in that same post that she revealed that she was married to Gillian who is about 20 years older.
However, it took only time to reveal that all was not as rosy as Kelly made it seem. In June 2013, a day after another DUI book, Lisa Robin Kelly revealed on Twitter that she had divorced Gillian.
Upon her death at the rehab facility, her estranged husband filed a lawsuit against the facility claiming negligence. The terms of the settlement remain unknown to the media.